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Old 02-16-2020, 06:53 PM   #1
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Looking at tow vehicles, 1/2 ton or older 3/4 ton

BLUF: Would you buy a 2-3 year old 1/2 ton with fancy bits or a 4-5 year old 3/4 ton diesel with basic bits.

I think I have permission from DW to look at getting a tow vehicle. I think we have a combo already that we can make work with her 2020 BMW X3 M40i and a Rockwood 2109S, but it is not ideal. I think I can convince her that it will beat her new baby up and cause hither to unheard of costly repairs at German prices if we try to pull that trailer on regular basis. There is a small crack in the doorway and I am going to make my case.

We have 3 cars: her new X3, a 2015 BMW Z4 fun car and my supremely boring but ultimately practical 2016 Acura TLX. All are paid off. So, I see this new TV replacing my TLX. For my work, if I am not on the road, I work from home. So the new TV won't need to be a great commuter.

Ok, that's the background. Looking at auto trader, I can get a 2-3 year old F-150 with < 45,000 miles and a lot of bells and whistles for $30,000. I can also get a 3-4 year old F250 with < 75,000 miles and a few basic things (think XLT vs Lariat) for $30,000.

So now we get to the question: fancy F150 or diesel F250? I am absolutely leaning toward the F250. BTW, you can replace Ford with Chevy, GM or Ram. If you have a preference between the 3, let me know but I like the Ford or Checy.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:40 PM   #2
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go test drive an HD truck and see if you want that for a daily driver (I get you work from home) you don't need an hd truck to tow a 4k pound camper. I miss my 1500 and some day will go back to a smaller camper.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:51 PM   #3
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Love my F-250 for towing our trailer, cannot stand it as my daily driver.
Hopefully this coming weekend I will be getting a 2020 Tundra as my daily (replacing my 06 Tundra that I sold last week).
In your situation I would look at any brand 1/2 ton that has the payload capacity to tow your trailer, unless you like your spleen coming out your nostrils then get the HD truck.
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:29 PM   #4
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Love my F-250 for towing our trailer, cannot stand it as my daily driver.
Hopefully this coming weekend I will be getting a 2020 Tundra as my daily (replacing my 06 Tundra that I sold last week).
In your situation I would look at any brand 1/2 ton that has the payload capacity to tow your trailer, unless you like your spleen coming out your nostrils then get the HD truck.
Went from a 2013 ford f-150 to a 2016 ram 2500 to a 2018 ram 3500.. I have never experienced an abusive ride. My Son has a 2017 F-350 Dually and it rides well also..
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:54 PM   #5
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Go big or go home. Well, maybe. I have had no issues with my F-250's as a daily driver. I don't really use them as such anymore because I work so far from home, and my truck won't fit in the parking garage where I work now anyway. But I will say that the bigger truck is a much better choice for towing, even a smaller, lighter trailer. And if a bigger trailer is ever in the future, you will be prepared for it. I am a proponent of bigger is better, but really, it's more of get the right tool for the job.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:16 PM   #6
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Ok, that's the background. Looking at auto trader, I can get a 2-3 year old F-150 with < 45,000 miles and a lot of bells and whistles for $30,000. I can also get a 3-4 year old F250 with < 75,000 miles and a few basic things (think XLT vs Lariat) for $30,000.

So now we get to the question: fancy F150 or diesel F250? I am absolutely leaning toward the F250. BTW, you can replace Ford with Chevy, GM or Ram. If you have a preference between the 3, let me know but I like the Ford or Checy.
If you go for a F150 with bells and whistles, like the Lariat, you're liable to find that it has less payload than your BMW. Bells and whistles lower payload capacity. When i was looking at used F150s crewcabs, i found many Lariats, Platinums and King Ranches with payloads under 1100lbs. Unless you find a unicorn older Lariat with the HDPP option.
The F250 gives you more choices if you decide to go bigger in the future.
Ask the F150 seller to send you a pic of the yellow payload capacity sticker before you decide.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:25 PM   #7
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I agree with bikendan, if you’re going for a truck, get at least the payload you’ll need, preferably more. Why more? Because two years from now you will be doing this again. But next time, instead of a new TV, you will be posting about getting a new, bigger TT. In your shoes, I would lean toward a 3/4 ton truck so you have what you need a couple years down the road.



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Old 02-16-2020, 10:30 PM   #8
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I agree with most everyone here. I recently went from a 2013 F-150 to a 2016 Chevy 2500 HD. I miss my loaded F-150 everyday because of the great ride and the fuel mileage. It would not however tow my new 10,000 Lb. loaded trailer. The Chevy 2500 does a great job towing but the ride is a whole different animal. If there is any question of a bigger trailer in the future go with the 3/4 ton truck.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:26 PM   #9
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If you go for a F150 with bells and whistles, like the Lariat, you're liable to find that it has less payload than your BMW. Bells and whistles lower payload capacity. When i was looking at used F150s crewcabs, i found many Lariats, Platinums and King Ranches with payloads under 1100lbs. Unless you find a unicorn older Lariat with the HDPP option.
The F250 gives you more choices if you decide to go bigger in the future.
Ask the F150 seller to send you a pic of the yellow payload capacity sticker before you decide.
My 2016 F150 platinum had 1650 payload. Not HDPP but respectable. 1100 is what I was finding Rams with similar trim in 2016. Not sure on 2020s as they changed a lot.

A half ton is enough for the trailer you have but will you upgrade later?

You didn't mention engine. I upgraded from the 3.5EB to an F350 with the 6.7L diesel. I admit that sometimes as a daily driver I miss the pep I had but I love the power. It is way overkill for my trailer but I am now able to take whatever I want to and can upgrade. I don't care about the ride difference but there is a bit more bounce in the 350 compared to the 150.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:26 AM   #10
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We recently went from a 2013 F150 XLT Ecoboost to a 2019 F250 XLT 6.7. Wife drives it to work everyday and gets around 23 mpg. Other than being a bit longer and a bit stiffer, it's been fine as a daily driver. The F150 will handle your trailer just fine, but man that Powerstroke is just an awesome engine and a F250 will handle pretty much any travel trailer you might get in the future.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:23 AM   #11
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I completely disagree about the spleen blowing out the nostrils and such... I went from a 2017 Ram 1500 on 4 corner air suspension to a 2019 Ram 2500 on 4 corner coil spring/Bilstein suspension. The ride on the 2500 is barely worse/stiffer than the 1500, yet the truck payload and towing abilities are near 3 times higher. 1075 payload half ton to 2,900 payload 2500. 9,600 lb towing half ton to 14,420 lb towing on the 2500.

The only negative I guess I would have would be the fuel economy on the half ton 5.7L/8 Speed was around 17 MPG empty/interstate and on the 6.4L/8 Speed it is around 14.5 MPG empty/interstate. That is my only gripe, and it's really not a gripe.... I expect a truck that is almost 1500 lbs heavier and with a larger engine to have less fuel economy.

I love my Ram 2500 6.4L ZF 8 Speed. Rides great, looks great, has all the fancy crap I wanted and can tow/carry anything that I would ever need pulled.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:28 AM   #12
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You say that you work from home. Is that always going to be the case? If not go with the 1/2 ton truck. When I bought my Silverado 1500 in 2017 I went with the 1/2 ton because it has the capacity to tow my 7,500 lb trailer. It's also my daily driver and I need the better gas mileage and softer ride.

As of March 6th I will be retired and can consider a bigger truck which I know will tow my trailer better. I'm not going to upgrade anytime soon but will have that option when the time comes. Then the choice will be gasser or diesel and brand new or used.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:44 AM   #13
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I completely disagree about the spleen blowing out the nostrils and such... I went from a 2017 Ram 1500 on 4 corner air suspension to a 2019 Ram 2500 on 4 corner coil spring/Bilstein suspension. The ride on the 2500 is barely worse/stiffer than the 1500, yet the truck payload and towing abilities are near 3 times higher. 1075 payload half ton to 2,900 payload 2500. 9,600 lb towing half ton to 14,420 lb towing on the 2500.

The only negative I guess I would have would be the fuel economy on the half ton 5.7L/8 Speed was around 17 MPG empty/interstate and on the 6.4L/8 Speed it is around 14.5 MPG empty/interstate. That is my only gripe, and it's really not a gripe.... I expect a truck that is almost 1500 lbs heavier and with a larger engine to have less fuel economy.

I love my Ram 2500 6.4L ZF 8 Speed. Rides great, looks great, has all the fancy crap I wanted and can tow/carry anything that I would ever need pulled.
Larry, Im guessing your 2500 is still getting broken in. Or maybe your running hilly interstates. My previous 2500 with the 6.4 routinely saw 18 mpg or , on rare occasions, near 20 MPG on trips to the beach. And That was with the 6 speed, You should be more effecient with the 8 speed I would think. I always marveled at the fuel economy for a HD truck with a big Hemi under the hood. Hopefully your starts creeping up there.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:58 AM   #14
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Larry, Im guessing your 2500 is still getting broken in. Or maybe your running hilly interstates. My previous 2500 with the 6.4 routinely saw 18 mpg or , on rare occasions, near 20 MPG on trips to the beach. And That was with the 6 speed, You should be more effecient with the 8 speed I would think. I always marveled at the fuel economy for a HD truck with a big Hemi under the hood. Hopefully your starts creeping up there.
I've got just over 1,900 miles on it now, I did just have the early first oil change done at around 1,800 miles. This thing is only allowed to take the full synthetic 0-40 stuff from Pennzoil.

I hope it loosens up this spring, I'm not really driving it right now because of the salt, I drove an 04 Grand Prix winter beater... My 4x4 truck and Jeep Wrangler get stored for winter

The dash photo is after my wife and made a run 2 weeks back from Pittsburgh to Erie for lunch and then back to Pittsburgh. That was literally done just to get miles on it because spring is coming and I'm trying to get around 3K miles on it before I start hooking 8,000 - 12,000 lbs behind it. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-17-2020, 08:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by corn18 View Post
BLUF: Would you buy a 2-3 year old 1/2 ton with fancy bits or a 4-5 year old 3/4 ton diesel with basic bits.

I think I have permission from DW to look at getting a tow vehicle. I think we have a combo already that we can make work with her 2020 BMW X3 M40i and a Rockwood 2109S, but it is not ideal. I think I can convince her that it will beat her new baby up and cause hither to unheard of costly repairs at German prices if we try to pull that trailer on regular basis. There is a small crack in the doorway and I am going to make my case.

We have 3 cars: her new X3, a 2015 BMW Z4 fun car and my supremely boring but ultimately practical 2016 Acura TLX. All are paid off. So, I see this new TV replacing my TLX. For my work, if I am not on the road, I work from home. So the new TV won't need to be a great commuter.

Ok, that's the background. Looking at auto trader, I can get a 2-3 year old F-150 with < 45,000 miles and a lot of bells and whistles for $30,000. I can also get a 3-4 year old F250 with < 75,000 miles and a few basic things (think XLT vs Lariat) for $30,000.

So now we get to the question: fancy F150 or diesel F250? I am absolutely leaning toward the F250. BTW, you can replace Ford with Chevy, GM or Ram. If you have a preference between the 3, let me know but I like the Ford or Checy.

You can get 2500 250 brand new for under 40 . don't know what bells and whistles you need . but 2500 double cab ele windows informant system , tow package for less then 38
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:54 AM   #16
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If you need a pickup for pickup stuff (hauling large objects) then get one. F150 EcoBoost will do most of everything. But you don't need one for this trailer.

The Rockwood 2109S has a maximum allowable total weight of 5700 pounds so doesn't require anything special to tow it. I think my former Ford Explorer would handle it and know my current Ford Expedition would barely know it's back there.

Your BMW cross over ain't gonna cut it with a 4400 pound max tow capacity.

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Old 02-17-2020, 12:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by russhd1997 View Post
You say that you work from home. Is that always going to be the case? If not go with the 1/2 ton truck. When I bought my Silverado 1500 in 2017 I went with the 1/2 ton because it has the capacity to tow my 7,500 lb trailer. It's also my daily driver and I need the better gas mileage and softer ride.

As of March 6th I will be retired and can consider a bigger truck which I know will tow my trailer better. I'm not going to upgrade anytime soon but will have that option when the time comes. Then the choice will be gasser or diesel and brand new or used.
I am planning on retiring the next 2 years and would love to be able to upgrade to any trailer without having to upgrade the TV. That's why I am leaning towards a used 2500 oil burner. Might be the last truck I ever buy, but we would have a LOT of options that a 1/2 ton could not offer (especially if we like 5th wheels).
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:40 PM   #18
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Depends on your trailer and how much you tow it. For us, we get out about 30-35 days a year. When we bought our current GM, we went with the Z71, for the towing package that makes towing our trailer possible. For the rest of the year, I couldn't justify a 3/4 ton, or a diesel for the cost and repair costs.
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:46 PM   #19
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I've got just over 1,900 miles on it now, I did just have the early first oil change done at around 1,800 miles. This thing is only allowed to take the full synthetic 0-40 stuff from Pennzoil.

I hope it loosens up this spring, I'm not really driving it right now because of the salt, I drove an 04 Grand Prix winter beater... My 4x4 truck and Jeep Wrangler get stored for winter

The dash photo is after my wife and made a run 2 weeks back from Pittsburgh to Erie for lunch and then back to Pittsburgh. That was literally done just to get miles on it because spring is coming and I'm trying to get around 3K miles on it before I start hooking 8,000 - 12,000 lbs behind it. Attachment 223495Attachment 223497Attachment 223496
I grew up in WV and lived most of my life there so I know PA has some hilly interstates as well and they may be part of it. Mine also had a pretty noticeable change over near the 10K mark.. Acceleration felt better and MPGS had slight increase as well. I had read about that in the past on Ram forums, and it was true in my case, almost like a switch flipped.
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:52 PM   #20
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You can get 2500 250 brand new for under 40 . don't know what bells and whistles you need . but 2500 double cab ele windows informant system , tow package for less then 38
I'm looking at 4-5 year old F250 XLT diesels with 75,000 miles for $30,000.
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